Gutters are a modern home’s first defense against water damage so it’s important to install them correctly. Many homeowners watch a few DIY videos and assume they’re up to the task but they forget that the people making those videos typically have far more experience than the average Joe. Read on to find out about seven of the most common mistakes made by real homeowners who attempt to install their own gutters to learn how to avoid them.
Settling for Sub-Par Materials
Quality should always be the priority but many homeowners are put off by how expensive high-end gutter systems can be. Since they don’t have industry connections, they wind up paying much more for gutters, hangers, and other essentials. Those who want to take advantage of industry pricing should check out the services from wildwoodroof.com instead of attempting a DIY job.
Choosing the Wrong Gutter Size
Gutters must be sized to the home and its climate. Choosing gutters that are too small can lead to rainwater overflow, leaving excess water to drip down the home’s siding, pool onto the roof, and even infiltrate its foundation. Either do the research to find out what’s required or hire a professional who’s already an expert in the field.
The whole purpose of rain gutters is to move water toward the downspout where it can be safely routed away from the home. Gutters without a sufficient pitch won’t be able to do that. On the other hand, gutters with a pitch of more than an inch may be prone to premature failure so don’t go overboard either.
Gutters on a forward pitch are almost as bad as gutters with no pitch. As the water runs toward the downspout, it will also be moving toward the front of the gutters where it will overflow and cause unnecessary water damage.
Incorrect Hanger Spacing
Most homeowners know that gutters that sag or bend during rainstorms aren’t installed correctly but they may not be able to pinpoint the source of the problem. More often than not, it’s incorrect hanger spacing. Never place hangers more than three feet apart.
Incorrect Downspout Placement
A gutter system that doesn’t have enough downspouts or doesn’t have them in the right places won’t be able to function efficiently. It’s not always a simple matter of placing them at the lower end of each gutter’s pitch. There’s an element of art and science to placing downspouts, so homeowners should either learn about placement first or call a pro who can help.
Damage During Installation
Some gutters, and some homes, are more fragile than others but even the sturdiest systems can wind up damaged if homeowners aren’t careful. All it really takes is one hard blow from a falling tool to severely dent or bend a component and that’s money down the drain for homeowners who attempt DIY installations. Even worse, if a homeowner accidentally damages the building’s roof, siding, or foundation during the installation, he or she will be on the hook for making those repairs, as well.
The Bottom Line
Hanging gutters is harder than many people think. It’s always best to hire a professional but homeowners who insist on attempting DIY installations can still do some damage control by planning adequately, working carefully, and ensuring that they purchase high-quality materials.